It is my pleasure to inform you (with my chest bursting with pride) that I am the latest winner of Choc Lit’s Search for a Star competition! I’ve got a publishing contract, I’m going to be an author, I’ve been bouncing off the walls like Tigger these past few days; whoop, whoop, whoop!
I am so over the moon and I would just like to pass my congratulations on to all the other finalists; you are all stars in my eyes. I was lucky enough to meet Sue at conference and know both her and Jackie are fellow Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme members and I just know it won’t be long until they are published.
For those of you who know me, you will know I’ve been on this writing journey for quite a while now. Almost eight years to be precise! I have been a RNA NWS member for six of those years and I can’t thank this supportive scheme enough for helping get where I needed to go.
And this is where it all began…
Great Norwood Street in Cheltenham. I love this house, it stands out from all the other Regency townhouses with its Cotswold stone bare wall end standing almost in defiance to the rendering of the rest of the row. About four years ago, when I was still an estate agent, I held an open house there. While prospective purchasers dipped in and out of rooms, discussing whether their sofa would fit up the staircase, I stood in the first floor drawing room wondering who would live in a house like this (no Through the Keyhole pun intended). A strong image came to mind of a very glamourous, elderly lady and I could see the story stretching out in front of me. I imagined the house full of mothers and children but one girl, in particular, who couldn’t have children, tormented by being surrounded by them. Then, remembering the back lane to the property is called Casino Place, I just knew that this lady would be a gambler, love horse racing and so Fall for Grace was born. You’ll have to wait a little longer to find out how that all comes together though 🙂
I am sure that I should wait until I have a published book to dedicate my ‘thank yous’ but I couldn’t have got this far without a few certain people, so here goes…
I would like to thank Julie Cohen for her advice on taking myself out of my novel and to always ask myself WHY??!! Alison May for ALWAYS being supportive and a shoulder to cry on when receiving rejections. Kate Johnson for all her inspirational hero discussions. My NWS reader who gave me such a positive review of my partial manuscript last year and really spurred me on. My parents for investing in my writing career and funding all the expensive writing retreats and conferences (not to mention babysitting!) and, finally, my hero, husband and best friend, Matt, for helping me realise true love really does exist.
It’s scary to think I nearly didn’t enter this competition. I didn’t think I would make the deadline. But regular readers of my blog will know my Dad became terminally ill at the beginning of this year which gave me lots of time to fill whilst looking after him when Mum had to pop out. I am so glad something positive has come out of such a desperately sad situation. I am very sad he is not here to tell but I know he would have been so incredibly proud to find my dream has come true ❤